LP1; 01 Р. ШТРАУС – Вальсы из «Кавалера роз» - R. Strauss – Der Rosenkavalier – Waltzes 02 ЛИСТ – «Прелюды» - Liszt – Les Preludes - L’ Orchestre Symphonique de la Radiodiffusion Nationale Belge, Franz André Recorded 12th April 1952, 9th April 1952, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels
LP2: 03 СЕН-САНС – «Карнавал животных» - Saint-Saëns – Carnival of the Animals with Frank Vanbulck and Jeanne Visele, pianos
- L’ Orchestre Symphonique de la Radiodiffusion Nationale Belge, Franz André
Recorded 5th October 1952
LP3 [partial]: 04 РАВЕЛЬ – Сюита № 2 из балета «Дафнис и Хлоя» - Ravel – Daphnis and Chloe, Suite No.2 - L’ Orchestre Symphonique de la Radiodiffusion Nationale Belge, Franz André Recorded November 1950
LP4: 05 МЕЙЕРБЕР – Танец с факелами № 1 (1846) - Meyerbeer – Fackeltanz No.1 in B flat major 06 ГЛАЗУНОВ – Концертный вальс № 1 ре мажор - Glazunov – Valse de Concert No.1 in D major Op.47 - L’Orchestre Symphonique de la Radiodiffusion Nationale Belge, Franz André Recorded 2nd October 1953, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels
André had done sterling work in Belgium over many years. Like the Swiss conductor Victor Desarzens he seems to have been a case of a prophet mostly honoured at home.
He was born in Forest, Brussels on 10th June 1893 and studied the violin at Brussels Conservatoire. He followed this with a period in Berlin, where he studied composition and conducting with Felix Weingartner and, in 1912, played in the Bluthner Orchestra. He then returned to Brussels, taught violin for a time at the Conservatoire and, in 1923, joined the First Orchestra of Belgian Radio as a violinist. From then on his career was intimately bound up with Belgian Radio. He founded the Belgian Radio Symphony Orchestra (INR) in 1935 and later that of the Belgian National Radio Institute (NIR). These names are rather confusing. Almost all his recordings seem to have been made with the former organization, just a few with the latter. He remained at the head of the Belgian Radio Symphony Orchestra till 1958 (some sources say 1957) but continued to work with them for some years after that. He was official conductor of the Queen Elizabeth International Music Competition in Brussels from 1951 to 1964. It is not clear when he retired definitively. He died on 20th January 1975.
During his years with Belgian Radio, André introduced a good many new works. He particularly encouraged Koechlin, giving first performances of many of his pieces – for example, "Les Bandar-Log” on 13th December 1946. André’s attentions restored Koechlin’s own faith in his work – some Paris performances under Desormière had been less scrupulously prepared – although, if some Google-chat is correct, André tried, in vain, to persuade him to make his pieces shorter. Another première was of Milhaud’s Seventh Symphony in September 1955. André and his Belgian players also gave the European première of Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra and the Western European première of Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony. He was the dedicatee of Hartmann’s First Symphony.
André’s dedication to Belgian musical life seems not to have left much time for visits abroad. A trawl through the internet shows a guest appearance with the Scottish Orchestra in 1952 and his various concerts in Italy won him respect as a conductor who could get the RAI orchestras to play well – something which not all his more famous colleagues were able to do.
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